'Shield' is cabler's first original drama series effort


Main Story

Backstage Notes

Chicklis
Channing
Pilots
Networks

Winners, Part I
Winners, Part II
Winners, Part III

Review

Arrivals

Full Coverage

One of the biggest surprises of the evening — Michael Chiklis’ win for lead actor in a drama — is likely to give the winner’s network, FX, an unprecedented boost.

“Thanks to my formerly small network,” said first-time winner Chiklis in his acceptance speech of the basic cabler, which had never previously earned an Emmy.

The star of previous network series “The Commish” and “Daddio” won the Emmy for his role on FX drama series “The Shield,” marking the first time any basic cabler snagged the nod for lead acting in a drama.

The timing of the win was particularly poignant, as basic cable brought home just three Emmy trophies Sunday after hitting its nomination peak this year. (Basic cable earned 16 Emmys during the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month.)

Chiklis also thanked Fox chairman-CEO Peter Chernin, FX topper Peter Liguori, FX programming chief Kevin Reilly and the network’s head of publicity John Solberg, along with “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan, who was nommed for writing in a drama.

“The Shield” marked FX’s first original drama series effort. The series went into the competish Sunday night with a trio of noms, for acting, writing and directing (Clark Johnson).

Since its March debut, the gritty police series came under fire for racy content, and Chiklis said the noms and the win help vindicate the show.

“If it was vacuous and if it was shocking for the sake of shock, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said backstage. “It speaks to things going on in law enforcement today, and it is just dealing with it in a brutal matter.”

When the noms were announced this summer, FX brass made it clear that they had no intention of resting on their laurels.

Liguori, prexy-CEO of FX Networks, told Daily Variety at that time that the noms “speak to the promise of basic cable, that there is a world between premium cable and broadcast in basic cable that can be fulfilled with new fresh vehicles.”

Reilly added: “We have no intention to be a one-trick pony.”

Chiklis said the network, seen in about 79 million homes, has been extremely supportive of him and the show.

“I look at the trades and I was starting to get embarrassed at how often I’ve been in them,” Chiklis said. “Peter Liguori and Kevin Reilly have been a dream to work for. They said we don’t have the budgets of the broadcast networks, but here’s the budget. Make the best show you can make.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more